tv Washington Week PBS November 7, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
gwen: a wod of uncertainty. on unemployment, ghanistan, heth care, and domestic politics. tonight on "washington week. >> ahough it will te time a it wi take patience, i am confident that our economyill recover. >> tod's numbers are further proof thathe obama economic policies ara failure. gwen: cool optimism and hot ssimism on dispy as the unemploymenrate makes a sudden jum neousness at theallot box too as obama democrats itwo big states go down to defeat. >> tere is soe little sadness. gwen will thelection results rattlehe health care debate on capitol hill? >> we're right on the brin of passing histor legislation to rovide quality, affordable,
accessible healthare for all amerans. >> not one republican will vote for this bi. gwen: and will violencet home -- >> an individual jumped up on a sk and started shooting weapons. gn: and abroad -- gw: change the course in afghanistan? >> it is not just thu.s. that is being tested in afghastan, nor is it st britain. itis the whole international community. gwen: covering the we, jackie calmes of the "new york times. james barnes of "national journal. cei connolly of "the washington post. and martha raddatz of abc news. >> celebrating 40 years of journalistic eellence, live from ouration's capital, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill, produced in associatio th "national journal" corpote funding for "washington week" isrovided by --
>> the johns hopkins global m.b.a., inteating business expertise with ternational underanding to develop leaders for a bettr world. the johns hopkinbusiness school, whe business is taught with hmanity in mind. > corporate funding for "washington week" is provided byoeing. funding is lso provided by nenberg foundation, and cotributiones to your bs station om viewers like yo thank you. once again, livfrom ashingto modator gwen ill. gwen: good eveni. for a whilit seemed as if the news was all good. wall street cracked 10,000 again. the real estate market rebounded. even detroit seemed to b selling cars aga. then today the news that the unemployment rate is at 10.2% the highest nce 1983. that's 190,000 jobs lost. so iave to ask you, jackie,
the same question i asked greg ip last wk -- is this cession overr not? >> it's robably ove but hese aren't our fater's recssions anyme. not li when i was growi up in tedo ad? --if somebody got laidoff th'd just wat a few weeks and be clled back the same job. it's not like tha anymore. blme globalizaon. thers a lot of resons. but in the 1991 recessi it took15 monhs till unemployme peaked. in 2001 it took19 month till unemoyment peaked and stated comi down. that means if youextra pollate. fr the belief that mbe the recession ended in july 200, unemployment maystill not ha
peaked belection day 2010. it stale -- still may be a political problem or the admistration. gwen: at's what they mean when ty say unemloyment and bs are a lagging indicator? >> right. and agging more han they used to. the esident said in the clip we have to ha patience bt you canee there are a lotf vote who don't haveatience any more. >> an isn't it true it's ot justunemploymt but peop who wat full tim jocks but can't get thm? >> rig. >> what it going to take? >> it's gng to tae people training for new jos that maybe don't exist yet. thiweek congress passed and signed o the present and he signed into law today exteded employment benefits. 14 weeks f additional benefits, 20 if our state has over 85% unemployment. that meansthe maximum
unemploymenteeks you can get right noare 99 weeks, almo two years. that's a record. we have set records forthe length oftime that people are out o wok. 36% of monopoy -- people who are unploiled right nowhave been unemploye for more than six onths. this just undersores the unease and dissatisfacon out therbecause you're also eing on the other end wall street is coming bck. >> wel, i'm ondering. we had that one gian stimulus package or economic rcovery ckage quite some time ago. every once in a ile you hear mention of maybe tre should be a secnd. what sort of ought -- options does the admiistration have think -- athis point m >> well,you're haring more pecially after tody's unemployment report, about taking these steps. the ill the resident signed today is a stimus bill. you ut money in peope's
pockets, they're gong out to the grory store, hrdware stor gas station. in addition it extnded a very popular ta credit for first-ime home buyersand stand -- expande itto peole who ve been in a ho for up to five years, tht they can qualify for up t a $,50 other credit. and every buiness that's losing money an duct is losses agast five proitable years. that means refund checs that are cash in the and for businesses to invst you've got these litt, well, relatively little things, relative to the $7 billion packaged -- package you talked about but this runs rit into he face of rising deficits. even thoug the bill sgned today buzz -- was pid fo, doesn't add to the deficit, that's gng to be a hard act to pull off in theument
>> so, jackie,that ust restct the admistration's moving room. there ar more and moe mocrats raising concerns about the deficits. how is that likely to be received on the ll? >> wl, they're going to want to acin additional ays. they're getting from the republicans at this means the original simulus bill didn't wo. the fact is more than half the stimulus bill from last winter remains tbe spent o. much of it will in construction. construction has lost lot of jobs and they haven't hlt the impact yet of te stimulus packa. think they'll -- there will be ore impct in the coming year but you're still gong to ve this drag. it's tpical with conomic statistics. is week we did have ome good economic news, that productivity wasp for the highest amot in sixyears, 9.5%, which means the people who are working ae producng more. the down sid of tat is employers who are alrady
kittish about hirng are thinking i'just goig to make do with the wrkers i've got because there already producing 10 more than they were a year ago. gwen: wow. it'soing to be a lot of ups and downs. an f this week's off-yea elections prove anything, it was that vote don't think e recession is ov, as 85% of voters leaving the polls in virginiand 89% in new jsey said they remain worried about the economy. what can be read oshould be read io this, jim? >> well, i think wat it does show is amicans are gettinga little tired of wating around for this econoc recovery to kick in. amongthe voters you just metioned, half said hey were very worried about the direction of e economy over e coming year and they votd almostwo to one inew jersey and three to one in virginia for the republican candidates, chris christie ad bob
mcdonnell, who both wonhe gwen: for overnor? >> for gvernor he and if you have those sent i aments a year from now when the etire ouse of representatives is up and a lot of enators and governorships yocould have a lot o republican winners. gwen: dowe overeach in trying to rea for great meaninin an off-year ection like ths? >> oh, yes. as yogi berra might say, i doesn't mean muc until it means much. ne jersey, the ncumbent demoatic governor jon corzine had a ob approval rating of something like 38%. that's almost a guaranteed one-way ticket o retirement. in virginia,the democratic nomie creigdeeds had trouble really defininghis positionson tacks and transportation and really how closely he woud tie himself to the policies f president obama.
>>and it didseem up on the hill, nancy pelosi was talking about how it was a good election night becuse ohn garamendi in lifornia won her seat so they held tht one and also that interesti election up inew york. can yotell also that teresting election up in new york. can you tell us about thatne? >> well, howuch time do we have? you had a republicamoderate selected by the arty leaders there whootshoved aside by an isurgent reublican unning onhe conservative line, forced her to asically tem down on saturday fore the election. then lter she endorsed oens, the demoat. gwen: and the democra won. >> and thedemocrat wn. i think th hows tha had republicans are ghting ongst themselves as posed to eeping the focus on the democrats, thy can still lose. gwen: now, imagin that it's
turned around ad hoffman, the quoif insurgt had won, wouldn't be - we be sayng what a great n day for the democratic paty, the republans are at war with each other? >> yes,without a doubt you, if homan had wonthis issu might othave as much visibility as does. but it's a pretty big embarrassment wh you have the local party laders peck candidat the republican englishment the national republican congressional committe the political m of the house replicans, got behind his candidte, ran ads against hoffma calling him a liberal, a fan of earmarks,that sort f thingso this ws really a messshow. jim, ca we move u to maine and the gay marrage bill there and what that mans for th futu? >> i think that it-- i think it mns that when the marrge issue is actually pt on the
ballot t's going to ave a tough time assing. now, at the s intesting. there ws also an nitiative out in washington tate where the proposal was the was a law on t books that th passed in wasington that aid same-s couples will have the same bnefits as reglar old married straig couples. and there was an efort to overturn that that failed. thatfailed by a verynarrow margin, t that failed. now,hat's not marriage. i think what you're going to fi in terms of gay rigts progress it's going to coe in fi and starts in diffent places, lrgely i think hrough the cour still bt like i said, when t gets onto the ballot box it'sstill likly to have some ouble. gwen: how about the independents? iteems to my there is still -- well, nooff-year obama
coattails. but th independents arstill out there d thep get to decide. >> theyo get to decide. in virginia and new jersey in the 20 presidentiaelection barackbama cared independents and thatwas a big reason why he wa able to in virginia, first docrat to do that since 1964. on tuesday indepdents in boh irginia and new jersey voted 2-1 or the rpublican candidate. spoke earlier today wth the media consultant for chris christie up in new jersey and he said reallyfor the frst time nce 2004, indepdents are kind of willing,they're open tovoting for republcans. but heautioned it's not a gim, it's not autoatic, these ar independen. really sggesting, you now, they can move back. the's still a yarto go. they could ceainly go back to thdemocrats. gwen: r they can stayhim, which they often d as well. thanks, gy-- jim. >>eah.
gwen: since erything is politics, it's fair to asse that lawmakersn both sides of e ongoing health care debate were watching the ection results clely. and as the hse prepares to vo on the democratic leadership's health care pla this weekend, eh side is claiming the other's plan is dangerous. ut doenancy pelosi have the otes, ceci? >> this billsettle greast threat tofreedom i've even in the 19 years i'vebeen her in washington i don't knowhat the utcome that vote'sgoing to bebut can tell you i am vting no. >> republican plan ensures aboutthree milln more people thannow and our does 36 million people. so that's a vry big difference in that. gwen: buzz nancy pelosi ave the votes? >> ell, gen, as sh put it, "we will." truer words havenot een utter probably in the capitol for quite ome time.
most of s in ton mow speak pelosi is a -- an excelle votecounter and happens to be a pretty ruest pors trade irfrom what i understand ad e and her deputies have been tryig to assemble the magic 218 votes. theyill be all democratic votes. this is entirelya demcratic show this weeke. the republicans are lckstep against the deocratic health re bill. that means s can affod to lose 40 of herdemocratic members and its going to b real cose and if she ees out a win, it will b by a vo or wo, i would s. gwen: who are thee moderate democrats and hy are they so hard torein in? >> well, it's intereting becausshe's got aew prlems in the sortof conservative modate wing of her party t some on the leff liberal laning wing as well. this is a calibration she's been tying to do all alog. we sawit for many, many wees
on the so-clled public options. now you're seeing flaeups this week overabortion, wheth or not the should be any sort of taxpayer dlars that in any way go towrd abortion coverage. shs trying to baance anti-abortion s well as pro-choice clleagues. immigration flaring up now in the hispan caucus. so all of these varous sort f specl issues are thratening to te down the bill. what about the senate? let's take abroader icture here. funny, it's easy tolose track of all this. >> yes, it is. at the moment not much. i tnk they're napng this weekend offer in t senate. butt is important to think about the senate becuse eventually if the democrs are successful in the house an you see abill in thesenate, wht 're doing is heading toward another pretty big fightwithin the democratic party becaus
there ae some real ifferences in pproach. the bigest differce which isn't getting muh attention rit now is how tct -- exactly they would pay for health care reform, specically what kind of taxes. that hse bill we'll see o the floor this weekend includes a tax on milionaires. over in the enate they ant to t a tax on high-iced, wha ey call cadillac insurance plan there are other diferences along the wa but that one in particular will becom a big problem. >>hat do you think the esident is going say to he house democrats tomorrow whe hmeets them before the start the debate? gwen: does he ce armed t be them about the head? well, everybody -- everhing we know from presidentbama and this white house on this ssue in particlar is it will b a combintion of pep raly for re but there ll definitely be talk - talk bout whatthey seas the lessons of 1994. recall when president clinton made a smilar attempt at health re over aul, he
failed becase many of -- i his pty refused t go long. >> it din't even come to a vote, did it, in the house or sene? >> no. correct. and there ere other complicatg factors alon te way. but that's the story this whte house has een telling its democratic membersfor quite someime, we have to hang together or nextnovember we're really going t be in troubl >> , cec, the house bimgot some big endorsemes 24 yeek -- week. aarp, the american medical association. many how significant is hat? >> they're both sinifica. the area -- aarp ndorsement i especially important not because itwill w over votes inside congress b because those lawmakers think thy can take thathome to the constituents and t's an inou canlation thatprotects tem. -- inckation.
we've known for some time seniors are the most skeptical oum in thi health care date. and they vote in offyear elections. so thisis what's known as political cover. demrats worked veryhard to get that endorsement nd they're ing to be parading t around next year. gwen: k. ce -- ceci,thank you for that. i guess you bth are working longours this weekend. >> oh, yeah. gwen: this week'sost coequential elections may have occurred in afghastan, or, more correctly, didn't occur. prident hamid karzai got to keep his job becausehe election was ccelled after his ponent dropped out. >>afghanistan has its difficulties. afghanistan is emerging fro 30 years of war an stepping ford towards a more institutiol lel order while still
struggng against terrori and the meces that affect us all. gwen: but other menaces abound. as the preident decides the level of future u.s. involvement, a horric shooting at thfort hood army ba raised new questions about military readiness is there a connection to be made, mara? >> one of the thingi was watchi this week and watcing the chief of sta of the rmy, george casey toay, and litening to him abo stress on the force and e don't know yet what might have cased the ooter to shoot the others. whether he was undr a great deal of stress, whether was a psychiatst he saw too much violence and trauma hen he was at walter eed and hard a lot abou it, but what we do knw is now ther's even morestress on those trops. w they've been attacked at theirome in fort od, texas. there is no place to feel safe. when you look at tese familie and the multiple deploimments a the hootings in particular, you have to sk
youelf and i'm sure they a at the pntagon too, cn we send more trops? at can e do? and the jointchiefs wit prident obama are the ones whsupply the troops an they have to tll the president what about the stess on the -- force? think all tho joint chefs are on board fr tan mcchrystal plan to add 4,000 more trops in aghanistan bt itould still be difficult because the soldiers,the marines, wouldn't getto spend as muchtime in the -- at home in the long run if thee deploymnts continue and continue what the army in paricular is trying to dois get ore what's called dwell ime, get their ldiers home for long periods of time betwe deplments. any time you add troops it can make that more difficult gw: so as the presiden tries to decide, aso on his place is whether he has troops who are
ready and can sustain this and aren't stretched too thin. is that a significant part of the decision making? >> absolutely it is. i don think y'll find yone saying we can' do this but what the president hears is we c do this but tere is stress on the force. look athe suicide rate i th army. the rateis unprcedented in the army riht nowand tey've made sucheffort to try to turn that around. look at these familiesin fort hood. these hildren who hae seen their prents go of to war the, four times. i kow the president ha to think about this. gwen: in fact hewas at wlter ad today visiting the wounded. >> yes, heas. >> swhen is the decision likely to come down nd how do you think thpresident is likely to decide? >> y know, i'm startin to get pho calls. e time she -- they ay i's monda nother time they say after comes back from asia.
isay just te me when he makes it, giveme a two-minute rning. there was some efort to mak the decision by next week. it could still hamilton from peoe i have talkd to who were either in the meting or know about the metings, they say e prsident simply hasn't telegraphed what hes going to do. a lot f people think he will ask for all e troops. listen to oher people and up thinhe's going to coe down somewhere in the middle. i think it's almst certain there will be more tops going to afghanist. it's justthe numer. i think mot definitelyhey'll send 10,000 atleast military ainers to help the afghan securityorces. >>and senator john kery of course has rely taken a high profilin this debate the as high ahe posibly can. what exactly is he advocating and is itikely to happen? i mean is he aking a
leadehip roll -- roe here or more kinof carping fro the sidelines? >> well, he ertainly took a leadershirole in ealing wih esident karzai and briking hiaround to a unoff lection which di't happen, as we ow. but i think kerry is trying to be the facof this, much to the iitation of he special envoy richard olbroorks though holbrooke says. >> but kerry from hi talks this week is somewre in the mile. he wants to focus more as you were caulk -- alking about, gwen, on counterterrrism, which may men fewer trops. what wedon't kno is how ig a voice hehas witpresident obama. ybe he wants trops in just certain areas. one of thethings stan mcchstal said is all th sounds like a ot when outalk abt counterinsuency, exactly likehis plan. what hewants to d is go into the population enters and ut
down theoutposts and they're already moving. >> what is kerry saying he thinks t number is? >> somwhere between 10 and 40,000mentd gwen: wheter it's for or against, it's all bout legitimaly. >> right. gwen: thanks, everyone we'll be keeping an eye onhat health care te and on any desion-making involving afghanistan. ep track of daily developments every night on e "newshour and keep track of us o facebook or senduestions for our bcast extra through our web site, pbs.org/washingtonek. and we'll see you right re next week on "shington week. good night. >> eve thursday get preview of our topics and panel with our "wasngton week" email alerts aailable online a pbs.org.
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